Employee engagement with the Dear Minnesota campaign

Internal communications efforts to expand the Dear Minnesota campaign led to a six-week campaign of story inclusion in Brief, a systemwide weekly newsletter for faculty and staff.

The gist

  • Brief readers were recently surveyed (December 13, 2023-January 17, 2024), which revealed there is high interest in faculty and staff stories.
  • The mini-campaign went from January 31 to March 6, 2024, with one Dear Minnesota story featured each week.
  • Each week, the copy included an introduction, a photo, and three links in this format: Read [NAME]’s story, explore the Dear Minnesota series, and share your own story.
  • Brief is distributed to around 45,000 people and has a 54 percent average open rate and roughly 5 percent click rate (2023).


  • The six chosen stories had an average click-through rate* (CTR) of .65 percent.
  • The campaign had a 72.53 percent total engagement rate*.
  • The Dear Minnesota campaign homepage link had an 85.03 percent engagement rate.

Show and tell

Below is one of the stories featured to dig deeper into the process of adapting this content for Brief.

Dear Minnesota: Karrie’s dream career
The U of M has impacted Karrie’s life in many ways. Each day, surrounded by neuroscience topics and research, she can say “I love what I do!” She’s found her dream career in higher education that expands toward helping all Minnesotans.
Read Karrie’s story, explore the Dear Minnesota series, and share your own story.

Karrie’s story was the inaugural submission for this campaign, setting the tone for what was to come. This submission focused on the emotional aspect of working at the University which many readers could relate to. Showcasing how a person’s experiences contribute to the University’s legacy is at the heart of the Dear Minnesota campaign. These personal experiences also highlight how the University has what one needs to feel fulfilled in their career. As a result, this feature had a 77.85% engagement rate and 1.2 percent CTR.

Bottom line: Email content should be attention-grabbing and relevant to the audience to establish intent, and encourage engagement of a continuing newsletter topic.

Find all the Twin Cities Internal Communications team’s best practices on the University Relations website and contact the team at internalcomms@umn.edu with your internal email questions.

*Click-through rate reflects the percentage of individuals viewing the newsletter who clicked on the link.
*Engagement rate reflects the number of visits driven to the website from the email that lasted longer than ten seconds or had two pageviews, relative to ALL visits to the story page.